New Vauxhall Astra available as a plug-in hybrid

New Vauxhall Astra arrives with brand’s ‘Vizor’ face, all-new technology and a revised engine range

  • Eighth-generation Astra gets brands ‘Vizor’ face
  • Features Vauxhall’s ‘Pure Panel’ digital dashboard technology
  • Will be available as a plug-hybrid

The all-new Vauxhall Astra has been revealed. The eighth-generation model has a bold new design, upgraded technology and, for the first time, will be available as a plug-in hybrid.

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It’s the first Astra to be built under Stellantis’ ownership of Vauxhall, and the car shares technology and engines with the new Peugeot 308. The new Astra will arrive in showrooms early next year; full specifications and prices will be revealed closer to its release date. We expect it will cost slightly more than the old model, starting at around £22,000.

Vauxhall is hoping that the styling, technology and new engines will help the new Astra stand out against its rivals, which include the Volkswagen Golf, Ford Focus and Honda Civic.

2021 Vauxhall Astra: design and styling

The biggest change for the eighth-generation Astra is the new nose, which features the ‘Vauxhall Vizor’ design. This features a smoothed-off front grille panel and upswept LED headlights that are designed to blend seamlessly together into one continuous panel spanning the front of the car.

At the rear, Vauxhall has added ‘Astra’ badging across the tailgate, along with a new angular rear bumper.

While exact styling specifications are yet to be fully revealed, we’d expect the new Astra to be available with a bold palette of colours, with personalisation options including a black painted roof and a range of alloy wheel designs.

Interior and technology

The interior of the new Astra has undergone a complete redesign, borrowing all of the technology from the new Mokka. This includes the brand’s Pure Panel dual-screen infotainment setup with a pair of 10-inch displays for the digital dial cluster and infotainment screen, which are housed in a single trim surround to make it look like one large continuous digital display.

Elsewhere, the redesigned dashboard features fewer physical controls than the old car, with essential functions like the climate control now operated via the touchscreen. A new steering wheel also features, with a three-spoke design and a new control layout on each of the left and right spokes.

Vauxhall claims the new Astra will be more upmarket inside, with a range of high-quality materials, plusher interior surfaces and more supportive front seats that can be had with ventilation and massage functions.

Driver assistance tech has also been upgraded, with a total of four cameras dotted around the car’s bodywork and a series of radar and ultrasonic sensors. This is all operated via Vauxhall’s IntelliDrive safety suite, which can accelerate and change lanes with driver supervision. In models equipped with an automatic gearbox, the system can bring the car to a stop and set off in traffic.

Other safety features include a 360-degree parking camera and an active lane positioning function that can help steer the car to keep it centred in a lane when driving. Rear cross traffic alert and traffic sign recognition also feature.

Engines, performance and platform

The new Astra sits on the same platform as the latest Peugeot 308. While full engine range details are yet to be confirmed, Vauxhall has already said it will be available with a 222bhp plug-in hybrid powertrain. This is likely to be the same 1.6-litre petrol engine, electric motor and battery used in the latest 308.

In the 308, this powertrain offers an electric-only range of up to 31 miles and fuel economy of over 200mpg. The PHEV models will only be available with an eight-speed automatic gearbox.

Petrol and diesel engines will be available in the new Astra and are also likely to be shared with the new 308. A 1.2-litre petrol will be the entry-point to the range, along with a 1.5-litre diesel, with power outputs ranging from 108 to 128bhp. Buyers will be able to spec a six-speed manual gearbox in lower powered versions with an eight-speed automatic gearbox coming as standard with more powerful engines.

Practicality and dimensions

According to Vauxhall, the new Astra has a slightly longer wheelbase (the distance between the front and rear wheels). This means it should be more spacious in the back, with more space for rear passengers. The boot measures 422 litres, which is 41 litres more than a VW Golf.

Read our review of the new Mokka and see where the current Astra features on our list of best used cars and best automatic cars to buy now.

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